Let us face it. Talking about your weaknesses can feel vulnerable and uncomfortable. After clearing the first few rounds when applying for jobs, you might finally be up for an interview. It is crucial to be well prepared for an interview so that you don’t blabber or sound nervous.
You can read up articles, watch YouTube videos, or even take up mock interviews online if you want to be completely sure of your confidence. Your interview might be going great, and then the interviewer drops the bomb question, ‘What are your weaknesses?.’ This is a question you must be prepared for. During a job interview where you are trying to impress the other person and land a job, talking about your weaknesses might sound somewhat counterproductive. But here is the thing, our weaknesses are what makes us human.
Why do interviewers ask questions about your weakness?
The main reason why you are asked about your weakness is that your interviewer is trying to get to know you. If he doesn’t know you, your strengths and weaknesses alike, he won’t be able to form a complete picture of you and decide whether you would be able to do the job or not.
Moreover, the interviewer wants to know how self-aware you are. They are trying to figure out how well you know yourself and how confident you are with yourself, weaknesses included. They would also try to see if you are working on your weaknesses and whether you are willing to change. Nobody wants to hire someone who doesn’t want to improve, adapt and change.
Things to remember when answering job interview questions about your weaknesses
- When dealing with an interview question about weakness, the first thing you should remember is that everyone has weaknesses, and it isn’t something of which you need to be ashamed. So don’t start sweating or looking evidently nervous when this question is thrown at you.
- Of course, it is a complicated question. But if you are well prepared, then it shouldn’t catch you off-guard. Always expect this question to come up. While answering questions about your weaknesses, don’t try to tell your life story or anything that is even slightly personal. One of the critical elements of acing an interview is being as professional as possible. Keep your answer short and absolutely to the point.
- Be honest. An honest reply will show the interviewer that you know yourself well and you are also okay with accepting your weaknesses. Answer it with a smile, not a smug one, but a professional smile that tells your interviewer that your shortcomings don’t make you vulnerable.
- Focus more on what you have been doing to work on your weaknesses. For example, if you say something like you sometimes struggle with time management. Add something that shows you have been working towards improving. For example, you can say that you have started timing yourself, or you have started maintaining a to-do list and religiously following it.
Things you should NOT do while answering questions about your weakness
- When you are answering a question about weakness, make sure that you don’t mention a weakness that can lower your chances of getting hired. For example, if you are applying for a content creator job, and in your interview question about a weakness you reply with something like stage fear, it might lower your chances of getting the job. So make sure to mention weaknesses not directly related to the job for which you are applying.
- Do not say, ‘I have no weaknesses.’ That is something that your interviewer has heard before. But it is definitely not something they are looking for. Nobody is looking for a perfect superhuman. When you say things like you don’t have any weakness or that you are perfect, your interviewer might get the feeling that you are too proud of yourself. That is something that can put anyone off.
- Don’t say things like ‘I work too much’ or ‘I am a perfectionist’ when you receive an interview question about weakness. Just like the last one, this one will make you sound arrogant and rude. You are trying to show the interviewer that you deserve the job, but instead, you are giving them the image of being too proud of yourself. Moreover, if a person does not know his weaknesses, then he displays an apparent lack of self-awareness.
A few weaknesses that you can mention
We have a list of weaknesses that you can mention if you get an interview question about weakness without sounding arrogant, rude, or like a perfectionist.
- Hard skills that can be learned. You can mention things like being weak at content writing, not knowing a particular programming language, not being financially literate enough, etc. If you are learning these skills or plan on learning them in the future, positively mention that.
- Soft skills that are not directly related to the job you are applying for. It can be difficult to list out these skills, but a few examples could be leadership qualities, task delegation, leadership skills, etc. Recheck a couple of times to ensure that your job does not need the skill you mention as your weakness.
- Academic drawbacks can also be mentioned. Let us take an example here. If you are applying for a job as a content writer and your college degree is in a completely different field like in the Sciences. In this case, you can say that your weakness is the lack of academic experience.
- Interpersonal skills like communication, public speaking, being too critical, or taking things too personally. Again, mention the steps you are taking to make improvements.
Don’t panic when you get an interview question about weakness. Remember that even the person who is taking your interview isn’t perfect. No one is. More importantly, no one expects you to be a perfectionist. In fact, being a perfectionist isn’t necessarily seen as a good thing anymore. So before you go for the interview, try to figure out your weaknesses honestly and display this honesty in your job interview.